Russian Federation

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Snapshot,
Taras Kuzio

Putin’s goal in Ukraine is simple. He wants to rebuild “New Russia,” the Tsarist empire's term for the eight Russian-speaking regions of eastern and southern Ukraine. After months of deadlock, pro-Russian groups are resorting to terrorism to get the job done.

Snapshot,
Anton Barbashin

Russian President Vladimir Putin hopes that the new Eurasian Economic Union will reintegrate the former Soviet states. But the union is nothing more than an illusion—and an unconvincing one at that.

Snapshot,
Nate Schenkkan

What started off as a relatively simple customs union in early 2014 has been transformed by treaty into a single economic space. But expansion has come at the cost of the union’s coherence, and as Russia’s economy spirals into crisis, the prognosis for 2015 is dire.

Snapshot,
Daniel Cloud

The ruble has already lost almost half its value against the dollar this year, and there is little doubt that Putin will end up badly wounded. The question is whether he will drag his country down with him, turning Russia into a full-fledged pariah state. 

Snapshot,
Ilan Berman

In recent months, discussions of Russia have focused on the Kremlin’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine. But Wednesday's coordinated terrorist assault on Grozny should refocus global attention on a problem that Russia itself increasingly is confronting: radical Islam.

Snapshot,
Alexander J. Motyl

As the West searches for an adequate policy response to Putin’s ongoing aggression in Ukraine, Western policymakers would do well to reread George F. Kennan’s famous “X” article, published in the July 1947 issue of Foreign Affairs. Compelling then, Kennan’s case for containing Russia makes just as much sense now.

Snapshot,
Joshua R. Itzkowitz Shifrinson

Russian leaders often claim the United States reneged on a promise not to expand NATO after the Cold War. They aren't lying: although Washington never put a pledge in writing, U.S. officials worked hard to convince Moscow that NATO wouldn't move east. And in international politics, informal commitments count.

Snapshot,
Eric Lorber and Elizabeth Rosenberg

U.S. policymakers are considering giving global companies a choice: stop providing long-term financing and energy assistance to major Russian companies or be kicked out of the U.S. financial system. Such measures resemble the sanctions the United States placed on Iran a couple of years ago. But Iran was a different problem. And treating Russia the same way would be a mistake.

Postscript,
Joshua Yaffa

Late last week in Minsk, negotiators representing Ukraine, the separatist forces, and Russia agreed to a ceasefire. If this deal holds -- plenty of earlier ceasefires have fallen apart as soon as they were signed -- then the active phase of fighting in eastern Ukraine will have come to end on terms favorable to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Snapshot,
Eric Lorber

A Russia with a sophisticated military and a cratered economy would pose a substantial threat to its neighbors, especially since many of those neighbors possess large amounts of valuable natural resources. In other words, although sanctions may be intended to deter Russia from adventurism in its near abroad, they could end up doing just the opposite.

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